Why Non-Architects Should Talk About Architecture
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"Psychically Stacked": Why Non-Architects Need To Talk About Architecture

What are the opinions of those who aren't already taught what opinions to have?


Numerous environmental stimuli impact you in ways you might not be aware of. That is where architecture comes into play- the spaces you occupy influence emotions and stability. From the moment you wake to the moment you fall asleep, you are surrounded by architecture that sets the stage for how you experience your day-to-day life.

For lucky individuals (and by "lucky," I am implying "wealthy") this might mean something like waking up with the sun in a spacious loft that has plenty of natural light and a gorgeous view. The commute to their workplace nearby would consist of a short walk or ride through the most vibrant parts of the city. Let's say they spend their day in a flexible, contemporary workspace that inspires creativity. In a situation like that, it is safe to say that architecture is working in their favor.

But that's not the case for most of us.

I recently came across an Instagram post (shown below) that got me thinking about how architecture is a part of everyone's life, yet unfortunately, most of us never talk about it unless it stands out. The caption to the photo of a typical apartment complex reads "Apartments always made me feel psychically stacked. As if hundreds of people were trying to plow this same square of the planet with me."

What caught me most about this caption was seeing someone not in the field of architecture (as far as I know) reflecting on a space. The Instagram post is by Chris McCarrell, a very talented actor and photographer. His skills and expertise help him view the world from a unique perspective. Perhaps I was struck by the poetic tone yet eerie accuracy. It helped me think about such architecture through a new lens.

The point, though, is not about the specific content of the comment. It is that our own passions and personality allow everyone to understand spaces in their own way. How a nurse describes the apartment building in the picture would be different than how a lawyer does. How a high school student expresses their thoughts about it would be different than how a professor does.

In architecture school, we learn how to talk and think about architecture. By learning entirely from architects and students, we lose touch with how others feel when they experience space. What are the opinions of those who aren't already taught what opinions to have? I want to hear more about how regular people would critique spaces, not just architects.

Of course, there is a reason that we don't have doctors and lawyers designing buildings instead of architects. But hearing how they interpret a space might teach me more about architecture than hearing it described with words like "poche" and "spatial composition."

I live in a building with a similar essence to the apartment in the photo. I am embarrassed to say that I have hardly thought much about it. If you are reading this, architecture AND non-architecture friends, I would love to hear you talk about the spaces that surround you. Share your thoughts about the office you work in. Describe how your apartment complex makes you feel. Talk about where you go to school. Even if we spend time in the exact same buildings, I can guarantee that hearing the way you experience a space will help me understand it in an entirely new light.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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